b'clinical director of The Ladipo Group.Later, when injuries forced him to retire from football, I was really sad, he said. I didnt expect it to end so soon. I saw a therapist. He realized that many pro athletes needed more support for their mental health. That inspired me to become a therapist, he said.He said he also received a lot of support from his best friend Marlin Jackson, who won the Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts, and his cous-in Toomey Anderson, who is the coordinator of athletics for the Allentown, Pa., School District.Connections with other people are really im-portant, Mr. Massaquoi said. When we areILLUSTRATION BYgoing through something, we feel a lot like wereMaribel Quino, ninth grade the only person going through it. The connec- Girls High contributortions and friendships allow us to know that were not alone and help us to heal.George James, Psy.D., is chief innovation A healthy friendship, he said, is one where notofficer, senior staff therapist, and just one person receives the benefits of thesupervisor at the Council for Relationships. friendship and one person gives, but there is aHe is president and CEO of George Talks, give and take. LLC, a communication and consulting Not everyone will be your friend, he said. Butcompany, and assistant professor for the that doesnt mean theres anything wrong withcouples and family therapy program at you. You can make new friends, and the firstThomas Jefferson University.step is to recognize you dont have anything toTim Massaquoi, L.P.C., is a licensed fear. Connect with others in your neighborhoodprofessional counselor and the clinical or school. Reach out to people in activities thatdirector of counseling services at The you like such as sports or music. Just introduc- Ladipo Group. He is a retired NFL player ing yourself to others can be very helpful forwith the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami making friends, Mr. Massaquoi said. Dolphins, and Buffalo Bills. By Fit Flyer staff William Cramp Elementary School13'